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Texans travel to Florida for first time for early Sunday game at


The Teams: Tarleton Texans (5-4, 0-0 WAC) at UCF Knights (6-2, 0-0 AAC)
Where: Orlando, Florida
Arena: Addition Financial Arena
Day and Time: Sunday at 11 a.m. CT
Streaming Platform: ESPN+
Radio: Tarleton Sports Network (Kyle Crews)
 
ABOUT THE MATCHUP

  • This is the first all-time meeting between these two programs.
  • This is the first time Tarleton has ever played in Florida. UCF marks the fifth program from Florida Tarleton has faced, joining Tampa, Palm Beach Atlantic, Lynn and Rollins College. The Texans are 5-1 against Florida teams dating back to 2000, last facing one in 2018.
  • UCF has won six of their last seven, with key wins over Florida State and Oklahoma State. The Knights have needed overtime three times, including their last game, an 80-77 OT W vs Samford.

 
QUICK HITS

  • This is the second of three straight tough road games for Tarleton — at No. 12 Baylor, at UCF and at Air Force. At Baylor on Tuesday, the Texans trailed by just three in the second half.
  • The Texans are looking to snap a five-game road losing streak, dating back to last season. Their two wins at the Paradise Jam at the Virgin Islands were considered neutral games.
  • Tarleton’s competition has remained as tough as ever. Three of the Texans’ five wins came against; Belmont, who is now 157-45 (.777) over their last seven years; Boston College, Tarleton’s first Power Five conference victory in team history; Weber State, who went 38-18 (.679) over their previous two seasons.
  • With a win Sunday, Tarleton would have its best record at the 10-game mark since 2018-19 (8-2).
  • Tarleton continues to force miscues of their opponents, now averaging 21.0 forced turnovers per game, fifth most in the country. The Texans’ +7.9 average turnover margin is tied-second best in the country (tied with UNLV, behind Missouri). UCF’s turnover margin is 0, as the Knights have exactly the same amount of turnovers and turnovers forced (125).
  • Tarleton is tied-third in the nation in steals per game at 11.8 with Tennessee.
  • In five of Tarleton’s nine games, the Texans have shot 50 percent or better from the field (all wins). Under coach Gillispie, Tarleton is 17-0 when shooting 50+ percent.
  • The WAC has had a great start this year, with 11 of 13 teams sitting at .500 or better.

 
WHO’S HOT

  • Shakur Daniel – On Tuesday, Daniel led the team in points (13, tied-season-high), rebounds (eight, tied-career-high), assists (three), steals (three, season-high) and minutes (40, season-high). It marked his 10th time he played the entire game, the first time since Dec. 17, 2021, vs. South Alabama.
  • Tiger Booker – Booker had a season-high 11 points at No. 12 Baylor, adding a season-high two steals in a season-high 22 minutes. He helped lead the bench to 33 points, a group that’s averaging 30.0 points on the season. The Texans averaged 10.1 bench points last year.
  • KiAndre Gaddy – On Tuesday, Gaddy made 4-of-4 from the field for eight points in 22 minutes. He leads the team with an 83.3 field goal percentage, making 10-of-12 shots to start the year. That’s the best field goal percentage in the WAC among players with at least two attempts.

 
NUMBERS TO KNOW
1: Tarleton knows how to get to the stripe, averaging 28.3 free throws per game, the TIED-BEST AVERAGE IN ALL OF NCAA DIVISION I (tied with Seton Hall and Denver). Freddy Hicks had 28 FTA against Belmont on Nov. 18, the most FTA by a player in the country this season.
  
19: In a basketball era that heavily relies on three-point shooting, Tarleton doesn’t fit the mold. Just 19.0 percent of Tarleton’s POINTS HAVE COME FROM BEYOND THE ARC this year. UCF averages nearly double that, with 34.2 percent of their points coming via the three-point line.
 
2: Tarleton has two players in the WAC’s TOP-25 SCORING LEADERBOARD, with Freddy Hicks fourth at 17.9 PPG and Jakorie Smith tied-21st at 11.5 PPG. The last Texan to finish a season at 17.0+ PPG was Josh Hawley (17.3 PPG) in 2018-19.
 
10.7: At 75.3 points per game, Tarleton is averaging 10.7 POINTS MORE PER GAME than they averaged last season. Through nine games year-over-year, Tarleton is averaging 15.9 more points per game (59.4).
 
UP NEXT FOR TARLETON
Tarleton will wrap up its tough three-game road trip at Air Force in Colorado Springs the following Sunday, Dec. 18 at 2:30 p.m. CT. The Texans and Falcons faced off in Stephenville last season, with Tarleton cruising to a 67-45 victory.
 





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